That was my morning excercise and all finished before noon! The purists (whoever they are) would probably tell me that breakfast in between is not appropriate. The purists do not have the awesome running and walking friends that I have. We slog through rain, heat, snow and cold often and together. It would take a serious family emergency to make me miss breakfast (or other social opportunity with them). They are my second family.
SOMEONE (ok me) suggested a 6:00 am start for those of us doing 12 today. The 4:30 am alarm had me questioning my sanity and wondering how many others may have been muttering at me as well. Still once you get your butt out of bed it's not so bad and there ended up being 10 of us taking off from the diner trailhead at 6 am.
I started off at 3 and 1 intervals through the first three miles. I was feeling pretty good so I switched to 4 and 1 for the next 3. I tried to push my run intervals a bit. I probably shouldn't do that on long run Saturdays but I had it in my head that I wanted to keep under 12 minutes miles (my long run average). I accomplished that for the first 6. Unfortunately, time and again people say go slow on the way out and pick it up on the way back. And there is a reason for that. I ended up switching back to 3 and 1 and my average for the whole run was over 12 minute miles. Still I finished it and really didn't feel too bad. Here is my run off the Garmin.
I tried to do without gus or chomps this time. I packed rehydrated dried apricots and chocolate covered raisins today. I had one apricot and three raisins at mile 1 (by this time it had been 1.5 hours since grabbing a glass of milk and a blueberry muffin on the way out the door) and repeated every 2 miles. I stopped at mile 7 when I had a very slight intestinal cramp. It only lasted a few minutes but I think next time I'll go every 3 miles instead of 2. I wore the camelback today. It felt heavy and uncomfortable at the beginning but after a mile I was fine and glad I had it. I'm not sure why it was weird at the beginning. Probably wasn't sitting right on my back and I was too intent on my time to fix it. :(
I have to say that doing your homework (weekday workouts) makes a big difference. This route was flat for the most part. There are only three spots with significant climbs and I was pleased to make two of them without wanting to stop before, during or after. The third is between mile 9 and 8 on the return winding up the hill and around the bend to go over the creek. I dragged out my run portion so that the walk came for that. *Shrug*.
I was grateful for company on the way back too. Caroline B started at 7 am to do 10 and turned aournd when she and I met on the trail. We finished the last five together. Having someone to chat with always makes the miles go by pleasantly.
We all had a wonderful breakfast and visit. I estimate there were at least 22 of us at breakfast. The Collegeville Diner is right on the Perkiomen Trail and doesn't mind sweaty, disheveled looking runners and walkers a bit. The food is good too!
I drove home and got on the bike. Here is the route via Garmin. It was just over 10 miles as planned. In the interest of full disclosure I had trouble coming up Rose Valley Road. I had to get off and walk the latter part of it. I just didn't have enough in my legs to keep moving. So I have a challenge now - to make that route without getting off the bike.
In and around where I live it's hard to stay flat. I learned that early in my running. You can stay flat but you have to run circles basically. And really I don't want to stay flat I have to do hills eventually. I knew that my chosen route today was going to be a net descent for the first 5 miles. I purposely chose Rose Valley Road to come back figuring that if I struggled at least it wasn't as busy a street as 252. What I forgot was that Rose Valley Road goes downhill even further before coming back up again. UGH!
I'm questioning my route for tomorrow now. I wanted to extend my distance to 15 and was going to go out Providence Road to West Chester Pike and come back through Ridely Creek State Park. I wonder now if I'm ready for the hills on Providence Road. They would be earlier in the ride, not as steep and I will not have run 12 before them so maybe it will be ok. I'll see how I feel in the morning. The alternative is to put the bike in the car and head out to the Schuylkill River Trail. I can't avoid hills forever nor do I want to but I could practice them on shorter specific rides during the week. I don't want to do too much too fast and get hurt or discouraged.